To watch a race replay of Test Of Faith’s Breeders Crown victory, click here.
East Rutherford, NJ — Test Of Faith was one of the premier fillies in North America as a 2-year-old, but did not race in the Breeders Crown last year. The Art Major filly perhaps lost the division title last year for that reason, but likely won’t be ignored in the discussion for year-end honors as a sophomore after an awesome stretch rally and 1:49.4 victory in the $600,000 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old pacing fillies on Saturday afternoon (Oct. 30) at The Meadowlands.
David Miller left the gate a bit cautiously with odds-on choice Test Of Faith, settling in mid-pack as the Richard “Nifty” Norman-trained pair of Grace Hill and Fire Start Hanover exchanged the lead through the opening quarter — and Fire Start Hanover and Dexter Dunn led the field through the :27 opening panel.
Test Of Faith edged to the outside on the backstretch and flushed the cover of Blue Diamond Eyes and driver Yannick Gingras, who methodically worked towards the leader. Fire Start Hanover rated a soft half of :55.4, but found company on the final turn as Blue Diamond Eyes worked towards her flank, towing Test Of Faith into the action second-over and Scarlett Hanover third-over in the outer flow.
Fire Start Hanover, last year’s juvenile Breeders Crown champion, was still in control through three-quarters in 1:23.2, but her lead was diminishing. Once David Miller swung Test Of Faith three-deep, the filly exploded with pace, quickly overtaking the leaders in the late stages and drawing clear at the finish line.
Scarlett Hanover made a huge late rush to get the place spot for driver Tim Tetrick; pacesetter Fire Start Hanover salvaged third. Blue Diamond Eyes and Grace Hill completed the top five finishers.
Test Of Faith won for the 21st time in just 24 lifetime starts for trainer Brett Pelling and owners Melvin Segal, Kentuckiana Racing Stable and Eddie Gran. Bred by Frederick W. Hertrich III, Test Of Faith pushed her career bank account above the $1.5 million mark with the victory.
“It didn’t go like I thought,” Miller said of how the race unfolded for Test Of Faith. “I was planning on leaving and probably getting away around fourth, then probably having to come first-over. But when Dexter and a couple other ones left aggressively, I changed my plan. But I knew I was following a good horse, Blue Diamond Eyes. I just waited on her, and she just took me right into the race. She is pretty awesome. If I can just give her a little bit of cover like that, she comes off her cover really well. She felt strong at the top of the stretch, just waiting for me to call on her.”
“It’s awesome she got this for the owners,” said Pelling.
As the 1-5 favorite, Test Of Faith returned $2.60 to win.